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Oakham School's new hockey pitch will be named in Olympian's honour

Crista Cullen with her 2012 Olympic bronze medal. (4439390)
Crista Cullen with her 2012 Olympic bronze medal. (4439390)

Double Olympic medal winner Crista Cullen is returning to her Oakham School roots on Friday.

The Great Britain hockey player, who won bronze at London 2012 before coming out of retirement to strike gold at Rio 2016, will be officially opening the School’s new hockey pitch which is to be named in her honour.

Crista will also be coaching the lower school teams and director of hockey James Bateman is relishing the return of the old Oakhamian who has more than 170 international caps.

He enthused: “Crista is one of Great Britain’s best hockey players, so it is fitting that we name our new pitch in her honour.

“Hopefully it will inspire future generations of Oakhamians to become team Great Britain players.”

Crista’s return will also see her taking part in an ‘all star’ hockey match which will see her grace Oakham’s pitches where she honed her skills at the beginning of her path to Olympic success.

She is captaining a specially selected Old Oakhamian squad against a team of current students in the first match of its kind to be held at Oakham.

James continued: “The ‘all star’ match looks set to be a once-in-a-lifetime game for those taking part – as not many players have the opportunity to play with, or against, an Olympian.

“We have an impressive record for hockey at Oakham – meaning that not only can we gather a great Old Oakhamian squad, but we can field a strong student side too.”

The Crista Cullen squad includes two team Under 23 Great Britain players - Lucas Ward and Matt Ramshaw - as well as an England Under 21 player, Alice Huddlestone.

Former pupils who make up Oakham’s illustrious hockey alumni who aren’t able to make the match include Maddie Pearce (England U18), Kathryn Lane (England senior and Commonwealth bronze medallist), Annie Dalton (ISCA first team captain), Paul Spies (Germany U18 & Rotterdam 1st XI), and Alex Stadler (Germany U21).

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